Originally from Queensland, I am an early career, post-doctoral researcher at the Children's Cancer Institute. My PhD, completed at Griffith University and QIMR Berghofer, focused on delineating a role for cellular prion protein in colorectal and breast cancer chemotherapeutic resistance. After completing my PhD in 2016, I joined Mater Research Institute where I assessed the functional consequences of a variant in ATM on DNA damage response signalling in melanoma. In 2017, I moved to Sydney to take a position at Children's Cancer Institute where I am currently involved in several projects aimed at improving the outcome of patients with high-risk neuroblastoma.
CIB - NHMRC New Ideas Grant “Improving induction therapy for high-risk neuroblastoma through bypass or inhibition of P-glycoprotein”, 2020-2021 (CIA Dr Jamie Fletcher, CIC Dr Alvin Kamili).
Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid malignancy in children, comprising 8-10% of all childhood cancers and 15% of cancer related deaths. High-risk (aggressive) neuroblastoma patients account for 40% of those diagnosed and have only a 50% event-free survival rate. Currently, I am involved in several projects, with the aim of improving the survival of children with high-risk neuroblastoma. This includes defining the functional consequences of a recurrent MYCN mutation Pro44Leu, hypothesised to be a gain of function mutation, equivalent to MYCN amplification. I am also delineating the role of P-glycoprotein, a multi-drug transporter, in the resistance of high-risk neuroblastoma to standard of care chemotherapies. To continue this research, I (CIB) alongside Dr Jamie Fletcher (CIA) and Dr Alvin Kamili (CIC), were recently awarded the NHMRC Ideas Grant beginning 2020. This grant, entitled “Improving induction therapy for high-risk neuroblastoma through bypass or inhibition of P-glycoprotein”, will allow us to determine the feasibility and efficacy of combining P-gp inhibitors with induction therapies.